Several firearms were taken out of vehicles at residences during a recent rash of entering autos in Dawson County, according to Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson.
Police reports show that three firearms as well as an iPad Pro and a Kate Spade wallet were reported stolen when eight entering auto reports were filed on June 9. Another wallet was also reported stolen and the victim also reported a fraudulent financial transaction.
The break-ins reportedly occurred in residential areas: in the Creekstone subdivision off Hwy. 53 in downtown Dawsonville; on Brights Way off Hwy. 53 between Byrd’s Mini Storage and Dawsonville Gun and Pawn; on Gober Bluff off Hwy. 53 across from Byrd’s Mini Storage; in the Howser Mill Subdivision off Howser Mill Road; and on River Valley Road off Hwy. 53 at the bottom of Gober Hill.
Johnson said that whether or not the vehicles were selectively targeted in hopes of obtaining weapons has yet to be determined.
Johnson said the best practice to reduce such crimes is to remove the opportunity and not leave valuables inside vehicles at any time.
“Even during the day, it only takes a thief mere moments to scan the inside of your vehicle, make a decision to enter and then act,” Johnson said. “Most times, the criminal is long gone before the crime is ever realized.”
Johnson asks the community to activate their car alarms, park in well-lit areas, use security cameras and remove all appearances of valuables.
“We also urge our community to participate in neighborhood watch programs,” he said. “Our office can help facilitate the implementation of this program.”
Johnson also said that the old adage of “see something, say something” rings true, and urges citizens to call if they see any suspicious activity.
“If you see anyone out late at night, possibly dressed in dark clothing, being dropped off or picked up, observe anything suspicious; please get a detailed vehicle description, direction of travel and call 911 immediately,” he said.
“Unfortunately we must change the manner in which we have lived for many, many years. No longer are we able to leave doors unlocked, our cars unsecure,” Johnson said. “We must realize that criminals are amongst us and we must take proactive steps to protect ourselves and our property.”